April 26, 2010
Mr. Carlos Mamani Condori
Warmest greetings from the Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus!
We wish to draw your attention to the case of Mr. Sodmongol, an indigenous Mongolian rights defender and human rights activist, who was arrested when he was on his way to attend the Permanent Forum 9th Session.
Mr. Sodmongol was arrested by the Chinese authorities on April 18,2010 at the Beijing Capital International Airport. Immediately after his arrest, the local police raided his residence and confiscated his personal properties including his computers, cell phones and other items. His family members were warned not to publicize his arrest to others especially to the Permanent Forum and the Voluntary Fund. They were warned that any action of appealing for his release will bring serious consequences to himself and his family members. Currently his whereabouts and health condition remain unknown.
Mr. Chairperson, this is the second time the Chinese authorities have arrested indigenous Mongolian representatives to prevent them from attending the Permanent Forum. Two years ago, another Voluntary Fund grantee, Mr. Naranbilig was also arrested by the Chinese authorities and put under one year house arrest after a 20-day detention in his attempt to attend the Permanent Forum 7th Session. The authorities confiscated his passport and barred him from attending any future international events.
Mr. Chairperson, China has voted for the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples. China is then oblige to abide by its international commitments, and cannot continue to deny the existence of indigenous peoples in China, regardless if they are referred as ethnic minorities.
Mr. Chairperson, China’s unwarranted arrest of indigenous Mongolian representatives to prevent them from attending the Permanent Forum sessions is also a clear violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of every citizen as provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We urge the Permanent Forum, Special Rapporteur, and the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights to take an immediate action for the unconditional release of Mr. Sodmongol, and urge the Chinese Government to respect the basic human rights and fundamental freedom of the indigenous Mongolians, Tibetans, Uyghurs and other peoples.
Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your prompt action.
ASIA INDIGENOUS PEOPLES CAUCUS